Scope

To ensure Solarcentury continues to build best in class solar installations, the sourcing of equipment, materials and service needs to properly identify and review suppliers to meet critical quality, compliance, health and safety, environmental and operational standards. This policy defines the principles that will guide the approach to the procurement process as well as ensure that the specific needs of each project are recognised and the formal approval is embedded in the Contract Approval Process.

Objectives & principles

The Policy sets out the minimum behaviours, principles, standards and practices we expect to see from Solarcentury suppliers, vendors, contractors, partners, affiliates, consultants, agents and other providers of goods and services who supply products or services related to contracts or purchase orders, or seek to do business with Solarcentury worldwide (“Supplier Partners”), all of which are based on our own code of conduct, policies and standards. As market leader in the solar sector our business principles and policies are the foundation for how we operate, maintain and improve our supply chain. How we conduct business defines us in the eyes of our people, our customers, our suppliers and our investors. We are committed to ethical and responsible practice across all of our markets both geographically and by segment.

Solarcentury seeks to deliver sustainable solutions across our supply chain through our approach to supplier and contractor selection. It is incumbent on everyone within the company to comply with this policy and to report any concerns regarding possible breach or areas for improvement. This relates both to Solarcentury employees and supply chain partners alike. Suppliers and contractors should be treated with respect and fairness and should be held to the same standards that we hold. The supply chain is an extension of Solarcentury and its performance is our performance and we negotiate effectively to gain competitive benefits, improved quality, service and security of supply. Business should be awarded to the supplier considering total acquisition cost as well as legal, Health &Safety, environmental or other regulatory compliance requirements.

Suppliers are expected to have and maintain practices similar to those in the Policy and must apply these standards to any suppliers they work with. We will develop and strengthen relationships with Supplier Partners who are committed to the principles set out below or to similar standards through their own activities and the management of their own suppliers and sub-contractors:

Business integrity

Supplier Partners must act with integrity at all times and comply with all applicable local and national laws, rules, regulations and requirements in the provision of products and services manufactured and provided to Solarcentury. This includes compliance with the principles set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). It is the Supplier Partner’s responsibility to maintain and enforce these standards within its own supply chain.

Treatment of employees

All employees must be treated fairly and not discriminated against in any form of employment. Supplier Partners must not discriminate against any employee based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, colour, disability, religion, political affiliation, union membership, national origin, marital or pregnancy status during any recruitment or employment activities. Supplier Partners must commit to a workforce free of any harassment or threat of harassment. Any forms or threats of harassment, physical, mental, sexual or verbal, must be prohibited and not tolerated.

Supplier Partners must pay workers the minimum compensation required by local law and provide all legally mandated benefits. Any overtime must be voluntary and workers must be paid for overtime hours. Workers must receive adequate compensation for any overtime worked. Supplier Partners must ensure that all wages meet local minimum wage requirements, and standard working hours or overtime must not exceed legal limits.

Supplier Partners must provide safe, humane  and clean conditions for workers at sites of working including providing adequate training and effective protective equipment to safely carry out their duties. Clear procedures must be in place to ensure regulated occupational health, safety and wellbeing standards are adhered to. Supplier Partners must comply with the Solarcentury Health and Safety policy.

Anti-bribery & corruption

Solarcentury is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in its business activities in the UK and overseas, in accordance with anti-bribery legislation. Solarcentury will not tolerate any form of bribery or corruption in any form by, or of, its employees, agents or consultants, suppliers or any person or body acting on its behalf.

Bribes or other means of obtaining undue or improper advantage must not be offered or accepted by any Supplier Partners’. Supplier Partners must comply with all applicable anti-bribery corruption laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate in and implement appropriate and adequate procedures for their employees to comply with. All business dealings should be transparently performed and accurately reflected in records.

Senior management is committed to implementing effective measures to prevent, monitor and eliminate bribery. Furthermore it is incumbent on all employees to declare information regarding any links either professional or personal to existing or potential suppliers and contractors. The company will assess the risk of a conflict of interest and not the employee.

Modern slavery and human trafficking

This section confirms Solarcentury’s understanding of potential modern slavery and human trafficking risks related to its business activities which all Supplier Partners must be made aware of. The full company statement on this can be found here.

Solarcentury requires that its Supplier Partners demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour. In line with our own commitment, Supplier Partners will not use or tolerate in their supply chain or business operations, any form of slavery, servitude, indentured, bonded or compulsory labour or any form of human trafficking. Suppliers shall ensure that no underage labour has been used in the production or distribution of goods and services to Solarcentury. A child is any person under the minimum employment age according to the laws of the country where the product (or parts of) or services are sourced from, or in the absence of law under the minimum age for completed mandatory education.

Environmental sustainability

We seek to work with contractors and suppliers who contribute to sustainable development and are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. Suppliers to Solarcentury shall carry out operations with care for the environment and at a minimum will comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. Solarcentury expects suppliers to support its sustainability commitments through the adoption of good operating practices. In particular, suppliers should seek to optimise their use of natural resources and minimise the generation of waste. We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of solar PV installations. We favour working with partners who share this commitment and who will provide data on both their carbon footprint and plans to reduce and remove carbon from their own value chain.

Supplier evaluation & approval

While Solarcentury seeks to establish strategic relationships, it must remain supplier and technology agnostic until the needs of each project are properly assessed and reviewed. This is done on a project by project basis tracking the lifecycle of the project through the various approval gates in the internal “Contract Approval Process”.

Compliance

Supplier Partners must be able to demonstrate compliance with this Policy (as amended from time to time) and make their employees and subcontractors aware of this Policy. Any doubt about a Supplier Partner’s ability to conform to this Policy can lead to a suspension of business activities until reviewed and cleared by the Chief Operations Officer. In the event of deficiencies being identified, the Supplier Partner will take the steps necessary within an acceptable timeframe to correct any deficiency to Solarcentury’s satisfaction.

Suppliers shall immediately report any concerns about compliance with legal requirements or any aspect of this Policy to: compliance@solarcentury.com.

Where Supplier Partners are found to have contravened the requirements set out in this Policy, Solarcentury reserves the right to terminate any associated agreement or business relationship.